Data description languge ?

"Josť Rui Faustino de Sousa" <jrfsousa@esoterica.pt>
Thu, 31 Jan 2008 23:13:30 -0000

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Data description languge ? jrfsousa@esoterica.pt (Josť Rui Faustino de Sousa) (2008-01-31)
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From: "Josť Rui Faustino de Sousa" <jrfsousa@esoterica.pt>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 23:13:30 -0000
Organization: Compilers Central
Keywords: question
Posted-Date: 01 Feb 2008 20:43:28 EST

Hi!


Does anyone know of some kind of data description language?


Not in the SQL sense (I think) but more like a glorified format
descriptor with if blocks, do blocks, etc...


Some way to describe a general file format (not necessarily binary) so
that the data could be read and written by any program with the parsing
of the data abstracted from the program.


What I want is a language to describe a general file. Something like:


The file:


Malcon, John
South Street 3, 92020, CA
ASSET3
343546 $50.60


The XMLish description:


<surname type=char sep="," trim=true><name type=char
trim=true><newline/>
<address type=char sep="," max-len=255><zip type=int fmt=i6><state
type=char len=2><newline/>
<ASSET type=literal ignore-case=false><version type=int><newline/>
if version==1 then #well how to do ifs in XML? ;-)
...
elseif
...


I hope this half backed notation passes the idea.


Something that let's people that define the format write the format
description and the people who use the data just worry about whatever
their doing with it and not with parsing.


And if some different file format is need to be read just write a new
description no need to touch the code.


It seamed a somewhat basic objective I was somewhat amazed that I could
only find ESML http://esml.itsc.uah.edu/ and a few others.


Are there any others?


Am I looking under the wrong keywords? (Is it really, like I expect,
something obvious and I am just searching under the wrong nomenclature)


Thank you very much!


Best regards
Josi Rui



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